Mv name is Crow, bale-full nightshade warning
To a breast-feathered hollow past clinging
Stipple scars caress dung sac neglect to burst--
Bottle greenflies forget the swollen chaste.
Settle-less bricks rust old greyman's house,
Drop drip-by-drip-drop on virgin queen's toes,
Rise deep lipped glorious in confusion wet.
Foam beer spurts at cracked old maid-long lessons,
Brazen bell, black-handled the lost seasons--
Finger hatched nails, pinch-picked sap dry brittle,
Frog mouthed words, waiting dinner to settle.
China chip fine crusts thin yellow brown marks,
Spittle lays flat the chin the apple wax.
Crow bristled tall grass beneath around the heart
Beetled ferns ankle tight locked blackened feet
Beech limbs gripple arms under twisted hair.
God-brother shoes me, ropes the grass fingers
Footly and meanly rib itchings increase
Wood filings scraped filaments, leaf-wrapped knees
Concave the real, exhale the meal.
Panessence knuckle twists my groin feather grips
Pin-squeezes chest bellows, lung leaden taps
All-in-all lost, haylofts, breezes wither,
Clock cock the glassed grain, sentence the rather.
Meet me in the bane
By the meadow
In the mellow
And I'll love you again, you again.
Apple-eaters all, white meat half-chewing,
Tooth spit the hidden innards up-outing;
Apple seed eyes beading tight brown knobbies,
Breast-rough the bark the skin pale and shabby.
Shackled ice pits the surface the young stone,
Wrinkle smeared light shades the thumb to the bone.
Four-cornered orchard, bow to the waiting,
Sun spikes the leaves the holes the bugs eating;
Carmine gooseberry thistle down, the smile--
Toe-down toe-back, begin a dance that spills.
Stainberry the finger sucking loose seeds,
Loose the earth for toe-grip and knee-plunging;
Loose the wind from blue buckets for spinning.
Barefootin' frost grass high on a cow patch;
Jump, the lowest blossom branched out of reach.
Rib the darkness amongst the roots begone,
Water white stuff the swamps, the fur the fawn.
Curl the hairs on big tree's belly, leaf-lash)
Sweat cheek against cold stone for a wine glass.
Snap the window shade in mid-air the door,
Step out into sun-handle knob ajar.
Fern faceted heel prints the muck a-mire,
Finger-lock hands for clinging to the spire,
Nipple-nub branch tips offering pare the fruit--
Count the rubs no-bark where the others sat.
Heart your liftings to the gnarled apple-gods,
Peel your voices back to reveal the words;
Hold your ears snug where the knots make a boll,
Corner to your waiting fence--smile the sail.
Crutch your smallest hopes in the space of roots,
Bury deeply hardened seeds apple shoots.
Snail slick the trail the rocks the roady dirt;
Blow windly blow the bucket under the heart.
Chew bitter seed birthmarks raptured to stars;
Carry home the barrel the warm wine jars--
Taste the red-old days stored, the clear mind,
Cool damp for mold for mice for years behind.
Retain The Dwell Upon
Retain the dwell upon the old pictures
Some child who saw what lay beneath the crust
Foreboding grains of sawn boards, welded trees
Damned to dwelling, the hand drawn face fractures
That most see as lines of age there to trust
That child he sails he saw the lacing sea.
That child saw me and other harmless days
Ordered us in and out and back again
Through the woods to bury our clothes and selves
The days I know forget his harmful ways
The woods I know have thunder to stay sane
Set down, here, 1, like books without shelves.
The fields of alfalfa are no higher
Than the oak's knee or the fallen farmer--
I can't pretend to be an empty jar
Broken on the hedge wall by the hired hand,
Drunken-shattered in contempt and scattered
Between the jagged stones where dark moss grows.
The clouds in the fuzz-brushed blue blushing sky
Are no further than trails of tooth-gapped spit
Trapped on the water beneath my flat hand--
There's no satisfaction in devising
Bible-lipped light tripping ways to confuse
Children who have ink-spots-in-water eyes,
Blistered beat bodies, and crotch-holding minds.
Yellow dogs race and run the leather trails
Into the toe and far beyond the heel
Of the mountain, where their master's wet lungs
Soft suck and return the sponge heavy air
To me and I raise my face and my hands
Over the fields of silent alfalfa,
Making the hum-noise of the blackest oak;
Sunlight bell-drops to the ground and stands up,
Takes my breath away and plants it still warm
Into the navel of the swelling soil--
Thus starts another day of creation.
Six darks ago I heard a man say me
They've reached the high grass hill now and standing
They're gone from the grass now plucked like fingers
Hurled by feathers thin swift skyrockets
They're here now the quills now they are whistles!
Erasure me, erasure me here now.
Get up now I say the quills are gone now
The hand is still now hidden limp the high grass
The whistles have burst and cry slow rust drops
Get up it is not dark now look the light.
He did not get up his own two hands now
Cold white knots tight on his purple throat now
A blind boy flung high from a carousel
Like weapons like archers like fingers now.
Is it? No. Yet I can feel the warm stretch
Pulling the gentle trills the spinning web
The bloody knots around our throats whisper
Of embers banked and blue hues of firelight
Is it? No. But the moon is my love's face
With lips of wax and eyes of wax, singing
That no it is not anymore to be
A suicide of the mind a failing
I say the moon the forest the dark's calling
Is it? And where is my cold heart's tinder
And what god's name shall I send after him?
Send him to me, I am tired and bloody
And I will name him and these are the names:
Matchbox, Clown, Black Rose, Keyhole, Old Falcon;
Paper, Tin and Fire, Wet Nurse and Steeple;
Flower, Castaway, Blue Bottle and Sweat;
Steward, Lamb, Spear Point, Shield, Glass, The White Man;
Carbon, Balloon, Child of the Morning Star;
Cat's Comb, Chicken Wire, Red Mare and Grey Horse;
(and now I grow more weary, will it end)
Fennel Tree, Apple, Sweet Harvest, My Heart ....
Is it? Yes, God-Damn-It, yes God-Take-It
The saddle is brown and aged warm 'neath me.
And the halter and reins are free, the fields
Are fallow and the curve of the Old Earth
Is apparent before me but is gone
Vanishing into damp and green and mist
I am riding straight up over the day
No looks behind me my eyes are still closed
And I am still singing, am still singing.
Morning claims all light-filled creatures,
Breathes the lifting blanket clouds in,
Sweet water exhales down a spring.
No birds but star-coloured music,
No red foxes but streaks blaze bright--
Hunger, yes, the berries the grain.
A cow lies frozen in the grass,
Glassy eyes staring straight and out,
Nose milk-white is wet smooth shiny--
Then I see it is ceramic.
Calmness cradles-again I know
Clay is simple and good coolness.
Ridge-rounding barefoot the hillside
Uncut hay is yellow and green
Brown where other guests dreamed the night--
Some are clay, others just waking,
Their robes cling-dewey, white with wet
No stretch-yawning--the earth conformed
To bodies once for the last time.
Fly like deer the field the stonefence,
By the budding forest we find
Stones awaiting in a circle Take our places to pant chanting
The fire-less fire, the wet-less sea:
Fire-Sea Song of life before birth.
How long I naked lie on asphalt before ants
Picked the meat off me clean--still, if-n they do it
Would not be me left there no rot no stink so clean
(Others will cry it-be-so-it-be-so, is-so)
I will wait a long time while star light really does
Touch feel my eyes (they bright) heat rising from beneath
Really does go in me--beetles then will scrape teeth
My chalking ticking bones--a couple of angels
Sent by a worried guy (for last minute rituals)
Might coax my bones sleep, wait, they'll fail I know really
Ants will sleep and wait too. If one of them angels
Tries to wrestle with me I think I should let him win
Always wanted to know what the angel would win
A knowledgeable bug would squeak up and tell them
Bones is for collecting and grinding to nice dirt,
And he went that-a-way, stab-pointing aimlessly
With crazy feelers--angels sent all that bright
They won't get it. I know I'll be long gone, gone far
'Fore they figure it out and get all panicky.
Whether comes the wither is too soon, yet
\Not even the red bristle has blushed you.
But it will, I swear it. It will wake
And pull the ropes over the bed crack edge;
A nugget of oak will bind the torsos
Seamless, like an egg; divine like the vein.
If sleep should bend you into my spring hand,
Will-o-will the dream-master seal the space
Around our valley bowl in phoenix fire?
I don't know, I don't know. (your ankles show)
Brown on your mouth appears in a lip shape;
Fashionable is where eye meets eye.
But yours are closed and staring at the lids,
Chattering back and forth with the room birds--
I release my hand the sparrow the sly.
The lips creak on facial steps, the landing,
Breeze babies flop their fat arms in your hair
Curling, your hair burnished, the cheek the ear--
I am my finger the pencil drawing
You on the sheet, you draw me around you.
Where do I rest--on the ship at anchor,
The masts at harbour, the wet weeds floating.
Nicholas he got soul enough for ten--
One, it still bell-jingle on the snow deep
Cast-away all the blue day grey mountain
Polished runners his cheeks the wind-fires keep.
Neo-north casks hidden for silvern childs;
Carver Krael he got indigo oak plenty,
Turret boar posts the bed gnome faces wilds
Blow down tingled pine coals the room misty,
Chin the comfort, quilt the hat the chair,
Emerald-rubied frost window glass peers--
Top-tipped the branches, the moon-ash the stair,
The windows snug the air never destined
Decadence, trapping bell light confining.
Break-fast the green cup new tea-rubescence.
Walk shines the thimble fruit the waxen thorns--
World none but unicorn milk-fed and bless
Grippen the ringed circle flight on the horn--
Cast away all new day into the day,
Cherubs we got spoon arrows for sailing,
Tallowed tables the wood bowls linen-fray--
Nicholas he give rides centuries trailing.
Nicholas he got songs aeons trilling.
I hear the wind blown blue call
an echo of white a shadow of white,
a voice of white,
Clear and far the distance spirals
You and I on either end,
the spiral, making the parallel meet at last,
at long last.
You know where I go and never wonder
If I'll be back
Wherever I go l can still be waiting.
And there is no waiting.
I see now I know Death well because Death
is a young man is a seed with mirrors
is a silver tea service is a plan of laughters is a plane of
here and afters is a mind with mirrors
is a mirror with a memory of silver laughter,
a ball of clay that shatters
like a young man's dreams.
He dreams of Death's dreams.
Death comes from a seed.
Ivy & nettles race towards the old house
The children are gone, the blue echoes,
the white voices of porcelain kittens
still play on the bookshelves
Warm muddy calves still lie in the sun.
Death lies in the sun.
The blue it still echoes underneath the brown muddy waters.
Death is blue and it echoes.
There are flies in the fields & musk on the meadows
The fog drops a blanket on a form
Leaves find their way like coins to the eyes of the lifeless.
Eyes turned inward
Looking at the childrens'
Coins of copper laughter.
That's where the old silver teapot went
Melted into coins for Death
who spends his money freely
& keeps the flow flowing
looking for a good time
and company & music.
Death knows who his friends are.
My shoulders of night, two soldiers of whim
Carry me hunched and dancing, drawing me in
Finding strayed locations all others miss
Two shared harlots who dare support this head
Cannot know of the eyes that fall inward
Cannot lick a thigh or foot nor shine brass.
Old moozled days of spring with wet finger moss
Tippling up the past the crack a furrow
Where inventive but behalved lovers trail
Furtive nose sniffings and brown shoe droppings
Casting, wailing, bailing, and all those things
For priceless puddled tears the god thought pearls.
Tomorrow I must call you, fingerling,
To stretch this moment into
points of hummingbird probing,
a tie untied around my neck
a tooth lifting the lip
an echo caught in my throat
Butterfly's throat cautiously sipping.
Tomorrow morning I shall find me
A timepiece with wings in a blue bottle
And cry melted tears on a glass hand
Your hand around a silk goblet.
Tomorrow night I will make you flush with pink cumulus
And catch me a tulip petal
A dried flake of butter released from an old book
and feed you my fingers
and race me for dawn
Discover an odd bone
and fire and tools.
O-tomorrow I must find a way
To stretch us into tomorrow,
To find a way to press my fingers on time's eyelids,
O-fingerling who called me today.
My lover Tin is a Nile-eyed demon--
Unbeneath ourfrazzled long night mattress
Float the fingered prints our loving left in,
Swim about the stroke the flames the caress.
Tethers the true-black hounds 'neath the arbours,
Where twilight green walnuts juice the loin-shaft,
Wine seed grapes the mouth removes the corners--
Hush hound! Beware the prince's passion laugh.
My lover Tin blooms silently to me,
Flowers deep in the branch cradle of night,
Breathe tickles my ribs behind the knee--
Hair soft-bows, his chest in belly-sink flight.
Begone the false dream sleep before his son--
Rivulets of locust-oil gather,
Whirlpool the steam drops our nostrils belong,
Groin-clashing waist deep the pool the nether.
My loving Tin arch-canticles my back,
Bone meets bone flush on animus doorway--
Tongue gripping tongue the tooth wet-blades the sack.
Blood of my blood to the black-hole hounds' bay,
Blood while the blood-nile demon darks his day.
My mother was once a cricket in the flower garden;
Her soft armour that purpled and shifted its shiny beetle
blues (never black like the sooty pismires)
And smelled of a tincture of cricket-oil and sapience,
And of the velvet fuzz loam that she was fond of resting
'Neath where the rusty side of the pink-faced yellow-mouthed
begonias stuck their bleached ivory toes
in the damp soil and their tufted tongues at the
bastard brood of liverwort.
My mother thought the world of the bubbles of light that
tickled their way through the creepers and the stems,
playing on her wing-coverings.
She often dipped and pivoted her head
For she fancied her eyes caught the dangling spots of glow-stuff,
Trapping them deep within,
Presenting to all the folk her orbs as living drops of dew, with
indigoed juices from the drippings of rotting
oak leaves and bark, cupped in the recesses
of her delicate, ancient features.
A dam of grande wont, my mother's leg joints were never sticky,
As it was her practice for half the rising day to lick the
settling dust from her knee-caps,
Slicking and stippling them with constant rubbings of spit
And extracts from canary grass,
(which grew but three low-leaps away.)
My mother rarely spoke, letting the baking breezes bend
and ripple her antennae:
They were her two magic mind-legs that were wound with
the purest transparencies of all the morning web-silk
that grew on cold wet grass;
They were two black-silver sprouts
That followed every move of the highest garden dancers
but more simply, less hurriedly.
My mother was not a singer, although oft-times she offered
a few clicks and grates just before
the Great Light flew away to another garden's roof.
She said the multitudinous bits and pieces of itself that
the Great Light left behind were the same pulsating
bubbles that fell slowly to our begonias all
the next day long
sinking into the ground and into her eyes
nourishing all the colours that ever grew
(did they not make her eyes enchanted?)
It was one mid-day while she was showing the liverworts
how she could entrance them with her fixating visage
That a giant hunting-sparrow selected and picked her up
Bearing her in that same direction the Great Light
travels every day's end
I rejoiced with my mother, knowing that she was
to finally see where the Great Light went,
And whose gardens it watched.
If I could be spared from dogs and the like,
My nights would blow easy and spill better;
Wood lots of grained paths would take the feet
Into cave-shadowed mouths where the toadies sing.
But I for surely can't take the first bite
Of red ransomed mushroom, save construing
The last toothfull into the burlap spaces of
Old mothers' last sacking, and babies' one-holding.
If we all could be shared from beginning to end,
To last life consuming, through Winter's demands
And Autumn's amends,
Then god-strung, the broken blue vases beneath
Damp valley places the rot of the stump,
Cry the dead of the topsoil,
The barbed wires crossed.
The lights and sounds are glorious this night
Finding you in midst the swaying dancers
Perhaps I do have the manners and such
Of a pauper only I eat enough
And have an occasional ritual
Of a dirty baked potato with wine
My mind always going chanter, chanter
Especially when I notice that you
Are more open and rounder than before
So of course my arm slips around your waist
And even though you still offer your cheek
For kissing, I kiss you all everywhere
Without touching, without minding the lack
I look for your sex drive which seems to me
Is confusing and sometimes a dim blue.
The lights and sounds are glorious this night
My mind is still going chanter, chanter
While I realize that I am wanting you
For your soft name and your soft turtle eyes
For your soft warm skin and soft curling hair
Come to my bed and compose a strange song
One word at a time, a very long time
Guiding us through the berry groves of night
Purple places that mortals call crimson
And the French call chanter, chanter.
O drum the bell song of fusion begin,
The eyelashes part the last sun-go-down
And splays a thistle field itself, a dance.
A tree rubs the lichened blood-lovers' bed
Of sacrifice, the stale stone for foxed tails.
Distance eludes the plane, and the columns
Of speckflies flatten the whirlpooled air back,
Pressing forward all chaliced dragonbees.
I it is who bumbles beneath the moon,
Who plucks the thistle, who spits the berries--
And while the pudding-smell of cow manure
Joins closing buttercups, that share the end,
And the creaking gates of the birds the forest,
I befield myself, be-stone my chill skin,
And drum the bell song of fusion begin.
Behold the straw fields on blazed petticoats
Of earth, patched on the shield of the soft eye
Dragon, a-top the oak community,
Curving the horizon lashed to sun float--
Bristles of branches dip the blue cream sky,
The great lizard scars each cloud mortal's knee.
Behold the grass earth, sinking moon's live coals,
Dropped at the skin foot the peasants' valley;
Uncap the ink minds and flies are drawn
To the glass surface where scales line the shoals
And aster-nomical sums the tally
Of dry oceans; and the silver-chained prawn
Strung to the galaxy around Pan's neck;
Behold the dim lilies and bug-cropped fields
Weeping the god's meadow body contrast,
Settle the dragon whistled thunder-beck
To men of the dented triumphant shields
And gone the day-winds the legends at last.
The night flows unclothed over the land,
Silvered by the moon and I am ready for anything;
Nothing comes but memories veneered with bleary promises
that the moon's expectations could be fulfilled by me.
Sitting by the window, opened to the sounds
of cricking chirpets,
A hand dangling over the edge of a chair
With the thoughts and sensations of you brushing
against my fingers ....
Swimming in the past, skimming beneath a warm surface,
Stretched tight as a frog's eyes,
Drifting with the current, and stopping for a very
against some shaded lover, with shimmered lights,
patterns dancing on my face
where it rests in place
Float down to catch the thighs, down,
On down even more slowly,
Lips tracing the undulating spirals around the
soft-curling tongue slipping and
tasting on the bottoms of the feet,
Still coursing backwards, raising my neck in reflection
of flexing plants nodding,
Aware of dimmed and fading form settling into brackish
lustered dust until finally lost....
The pebbles are smooth and hard
Against my chest and arms.
Mumbling fingers on my chest, the papers
Shuffle naked the floor 'neath our bare bed.
Black pony kicks the barn door, the hens
Stir the grit the leaves the timber rafters
Blow their curses, wind-sit the window sill.
Lead one, another, up staining steps 'til
Rusted springs take o'er the humid night still.
Eight beaky swallows dance the pleasure wire
Crack seeds and sideglances the upturned leaves
Will weather get it out of its system
Or rain sweat to fill the swinging old tire?
Chances are the cow's-day dust will uprise
And spoke the milkweed web, the spider's flies
And slay the crisscross fields, the farmer's eyes.
Don't ask me about the black clouds' notions--
I only know my feet carried with them
Daisy petals licked to the bare bottoms
Spreading them for our may-bed's devotions
I only know the path our loving treads
To and from the bulging soft brassy beds,
The various lights the cracks-in-ceiling sheds.
Care I, care I October's burning lips
Bruise my maple leaves their thin tender skins,
The veins of children's feet? Care I, not I.
Two brown paper grasshoppers we, on ships--
Of the same order of death sail the hands,
The tongue, the drag of the teeth on the sands
And flung before a wet-lashed bed's demands.
Where does the advantage go, mind-empty,
Clock killing a tussled day, leaf spitting Bits of frost?
To the dust, manufactured
Oak trees' clavicles, bent to their angles--
Chipping jumps, the hoppers' aimless toeing.
Browning grass rumped on the high chesty hills
Spares and bares the bane glow in its gleaning.
O-crow-on-the-pasture see the blue sunfish;
See the lovers' glint in hands cupping
The high air dripping, a-lost and abound
For the dull eye-fleck constant between them.
The pop-yellow flies turn their crazing wings
To meet night intersecting, to act as
Sub-beacons of the day-collared plum trees.
No sepiad image, nor cribbered hand
Withholds the burst of clouds crossing the sun;
In the blue deep wires too loud a silence
Recognized with breathing, and breathing stilled--
Speed gathers the trees, handful of heather;
No bridge, too proud a crossing for rivers,
No hand too soft an organ for walking.
Capsule these green star backgrounds twilight left
My years in bovine erectus watching
Insects of the bodyplate earth diggers--
Collections of the nose the palate cleft
Dogface sharp toothlings the yardbirds hatching
More to soft eat malignant steel triggers.
Shackle high the old-born walling weepers
Sponge down verse upon wet verse their salt backs--
Quill lawsome victories the cheek fastened tongue.
Spackled white china knees the prayer keepers,
Club open them wide, the swill-hidden tracts
That spurt fungus blood black the man's space sung.
Coarse nettles thread eyelids with sun pierced rays,
Dot the eyeballs with reeds dipped in warm milk
Mothersqueezed to the womb socket's deep pain--
Shaft of corn flosses the dung grub of days,
Papa be sure my body's oils, your silk
Rumpstool, supporter of the hungry slain.
O prick the ancient red tree, the tin child
Soaked to the blue bones the festered rust sores,
Barter the lost banshee to green twi-night
Ribbing the burlapped bellies the gut gone wild.
Cracked yellow jade hands behind open doors
King of the twine the lotus the glass kite,
Papa beat me, your accord their delight.
Voices from the other room drift in & out
& in & back & forth
we are dancing our fingers the piano the old black thing
I cannot believe now how young we were
are you still?
this is a dream it is all a dream
I touch each key sounding them as if they were prepared for a
walk in a tin swamp
drawing a bow of thought over each note
that hangs like a shiny mote in the sun
each one a grain of wheat
a mutated almond
I cannot believe how close we are
heads almost touching fingers & mouths & eyes & noses
& dishes & pots & pans clashing softly in the kitchen & the
music stops for an instant and we are kissing and I really don't
think I had any idea
any idea at all
about your black cinnamon hair, the fireflies and almonds
& the dancing & the motes or the tin swamp
Or ever knew how close we came to arriving.
Brautigan Virtual Library